Next GST Council meeting likely to be held between June 15-20

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As the government braces up to deal with new challenges, the Goods and Services Tax Council is likely to meet between June 15 and 20, to take up the key pending issues. However, a final date of the meeting will be decided only once finance minister takes charge. Meanwhile, senior government officials confirming the development added that the GST Secretariat has already proposed a set of agenda items which it wants the Council to consider this time. The proposed agenda items include “a detailed discussion on introducing the facility of e-invoicing, where the revenue secretary is likely to press the urgent need to curb the menace of fake invoicing.”

Revenue department wants businesses to be able to issue invoices/bills through this software where the data is readily available to the authorities. For this, the revenue secretary has tasked GSTN to develop the software and the central government aims that the facility should be first started on a pilot basis and then made mandatory in a phased manner starting first for taxpayers above a threshold. Under the e-invoicing system, taxpayers too will be given unique IDs to operate on the software. However, a final call will be taken by the Council. Other agenda items include deciding a fresh date for the rollout of simplified GST returns. GST Council had in July 2018 decided that the simplified GST return forms Sahaj and Sugam would be rolled out on a pilot basis from April 1, 2019. But both the deadlines got delayed due to software not being ready.

The Council will also take stock of the current revenue position, understanding the spur in collections and noting the fear that the collections might slip in the coming months due to a suspected consumption slowdown, government official added. The council is also likely to take a status update of the pending report of the GoM on lottery, which is likely to submit its report on addressing the concerns of differential rates on state-run and state-authorised lotteries. The law committee would also like the Council to take up the issue of plugging the loopholes in the GST law which is leading to tax evasion. “The law committee is likely to present a case on the urgent need to correct the legal loopholes giving space for tax evasion,” the official said. Also on the agenda is a proposal to extend the sunset clause for National Anti Profiteering Authority (NAA) from current Dec-2019. “Since a lot of cases are currently under NAA’s purview, the Council is likely to extend the sunset clause of NAA, along with taking stock of the current pending cases,” official added.

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